Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 07-14-2003, 10:51 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,706
Can someone explain the spice cycle? (Dune)

So I've just finished the last of the six Dune books, but I'm still a little hazy about how the spice cycle works. In the first two books, we knew only of the worms and the spice. So it was safe to assume that the worms produced the spice as an excrement, or something similar.

Then, in Children of Dune, we learn about the sandtrout, who deplete soil of all of its moisture so that they can then mature into full sandworms. But how is it that water can go from a life giving substance one moment, to being a deadly toxin for the worms the next moment?

And where exactly does the spice come in? There is always talk of spice blows attracting worms, but I had always assumed the worms created the spice. So is it the worms who create the spice, or is it possibly the sandtrout?
#2
Old 07-14-2003, 11:37 AM
ed ed is offline
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 422
Read the first appendix in Dune: The Ecology of Dune. It discusses Pardot Kynes and his discovery of the spice cycle (among other things). Basically, it goes:

- Sand "plankton" (microscopic organisms living in the sand) feeds on the spice, absorbs solar energy
- Sand plankton develop into sandtrout, the "little makers"
- Little makers corral all moisture available into a "pre-spice mass", where (I think) the spice is actually produced
- Spice blow: most little makers are killed, spice is distributed to the surface. The surviving makers begin to grow into adults
- Those that survive will become real sandworms, which feed on the sand plankton and little makers

I think that's it, I hope someone can correct this where it's wrong. As to water being poisonous, I'm not sure how that changes. It seems that a spice blow affects certain changes in the makers and this could be one of them.
#3
Old 07-14-2003, 12:35 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Posts: 683
The re was a thread started about this a while ago. Here is the link.
#4
Old 07-14-2003, 12:41 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 56,183
As I understand it, it starts with a carefully-planned debut record, followed by several bubblegum hits, then internal dissent sets in, one of the pack breaks free for a solo career while the others fade into obscurity or marry athletes, and balance is restored.
#5
Old 07-14-2003, 12:52 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
Posts: 13,491
Re: Can someone explain the spice cycle? (Dune)

Quote:
Originally posted by Soapbox Monkey
But how is it that water can go from a life giving substance one moment, to being a deadly toxin for the worms the next moment?
I would kinda guess that this is like lactose intolerence in humans.

ed seemed to come up with the best possible answer (straight from the books). Also, remember that in GEoD there were no worms, other than Leto. He kept mentioning that when he died it would have to be near water otherwise there would never be any more worms. Leto's body was, of course, many sandtrout that bonded to him which were released when he died. The sandtrout then started the process of turning Arrakis back into Dune. As long as there was too much moisture the worms wouldn't grow.

The BG were finally able to start the worm cycle on Chapterhouse because, in addition to weather control, they allowed sandtrout to do their thing. Every other attempt to establish worms off of Dune had failed because the sandtrout were neglected.
#6
Old 07-14-2003, 08:11 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 141
I always thought it went like this.

The worms died and after they decomposed there was a spiceblow where the gases from the decomposition blew the remains to the surface. This was the spice. The sandtrout were fishlike objects that lived in the sand and sealed off the water so the worms could live. They had not yet become little makers and transformed because once they did they couldn't tolerate water. I also thought the worms mated and left eggs in the sand that hatched into sandtrout.
#7
Old 02-02-2011, 03:25 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3
I think....

Sand "plankton" seem to have their own life cycle, and are able to reproduce themselves.
They eat SPICE, and they themselves are eaten by the Giant Worm.

This is the reason the Giant Worm protects the space sands.

The Sand Plankton can evolve into "Sand Trout" (also known as Little makers)
Sand Trout also seem to be able to reproduce on their own.

Sand Trout are attracted to water, and gather together at a source of water in such vast numbers to the point where they will encapsulate the water.

It is the encapsulation of a planet's water by the Sand Trout that transforms a wet world into a desert world we know as "DUNE".

When the Sand Trout encapsulate water underground they also produce some waste byproducts in the water that changes the water, and that leads to the build up of CO2 gas.

Eventually this changed water is under enough pressure inside the Sand Trout's encapsulation that it will "pop" and rise to the surface
This is know as a "Spice Blow"

The Spice Blow spreads a lot of the changed water that had been encased by the Sand Trout onto the dry surface sands.
The dry and and sunlight will turn this changed water into "Spice"


During the explosion found in a "Spice Blow" many of the Sand Trout are killed.
However some escape and enter into a dormant stage where they undergo a physical change and 6 years later are a creature known as a "WORM"

The Worms grow huge, have a very long life span, and feed on Sand Plankton.


so this all started with Sand Plankton, and one creature comes forth out of the life cycle of another...
But where do Sand Plankton come from?

I dont know?

I do know that when a WORM dies, the outer skin of the WORM splits up and gives off Sand Trout.

And I know that Sand Plankton can become Sand Trout under the right circumstances...

But so far i have not been able to prove that Sand Plankton are directly produced by Sand Trout.

If anyone knows, please drop me a email

Last edited by alanmolstad; 02-02-2011 at 03:25 PM.
#8
Old 02-22-2011, 02:05 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3
However....

I thought I had SPICE understood until I finished reading Hunters Of DUNE.

In HUNTERS they have some captured Worms inside a giant space ship.
The big worms themselves are said to make spice.

This does mess up with where I believed SPICE was said to come from in the first few books.

Last edited by alanmolstad; 02-22-2011 at 02:06 PM.
#9
Old 02-23-2011, 06:01 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Raiderville, TX
Posts: 10,422
Quote:
Originally Posted by sylphishone View Post
I always thought it went like this.

The worms died and after they decomposed there was a spiceblow where the gases from the decomposition blew the remains to the surface. This was the spice.
I've only finished book 1, so I'm not up to any "sandtrout" stuff yet, but this bit is the same impression I have at the moment. Spice is dead worms. That's why living worms attack harvesters: they're protecting the bodies of their ancestors.
#10
Old 02-23-2011, 06:34 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,151
Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmolstad View Post
However....

I thought I had SPICE understood until I finished reading Hunters Of DUNE.

In HUNTERS they have some captured Worms inside a giant space ship.
The big worms themselves are said to make spice.

This does mess up with where I believed SPICE was said to come from in the first few books.
The problem there is that you're reading the literary abortions that Herbert's son had ghostwritten by Kevin Hackerson.
#11
Old 02-23-2011, 06:39 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
I've only finished book 1, so I'm not up to any "sandtrout" stuff yet, but this bit is the same impression I have at the moment. Spice is dead worms. That's why living worms attack harvesters: they're protecting the bodies of their ancestors.
No, Spice is dead sandtrout. When the pre-spice mass blows, most of the sandtrout in it die and their bodies mix with the fluids of the mass and the sun's rays to form melange. The surviving sandtrout join together and become a worm (though a small one at first).
#12
Old 02-23-2011, 07:06 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Oregon's Outback
Posts: 1,050
I tried reading Dune once, I found it rather dry.
#13
Old 02-23-2011, 07:26 PM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Montana, U.S.A.
Posts: 9,449
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
The problem there is that you're reading the literary abortions that Herbert's son had ghostwritten by Kevin Hackerson.
It hardly counts as ghost writing when Anderson's name is on the cover the same size and font as Herbert's. It's a collaboration: Herbert's notes on his dad's work, plot ideas developed by both, writing by Anderson.
#14
Old 02-23-2011, 07:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
It hardly counts as ghost writing when Anderson's name is on the cover the same size and font as Herbert's. It's a collaboration: Herbert's notes on his dad's work, plot ideas developed by both, writing by Anderson.

Okay, poor choice of words. Rephrase...

The problem there is that you're reading the literary abortions that Herbert's son had ritually desecrated by Kevin Hackerson.
#15
Old 02-23-2011, 10:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,049
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
I've only finished book 1, so I'm not up to any "sandtrout" stuff yet, but this bit is the same impression I have at the moment. Spice is dead worms. That's why living worms attack harvesters: they're protecting the bodies of their ancestors.
Worms don't attack harvesters, worms attack any source of rhythmic noise. They don't care is the source is a human being, a thumper, a shield, a thopter or a harvester. They also don't care whether the noise is anywhere near a spice mass. Anything that produces rhythmic sound anywhere at all in the open desert will be attacked. There's no evidence that they preferentially attack harvesters.

The Dune Encyclopedia was much better written and more consistent than the necrophilic literary sodomy of Hackerson, and it was written with Frank Herbert's consent and input. So to me the encyclopedia is canon, and the other stuff can be ignored.

Working from 20 year old memories, according to the encyclopedia the female worms produced a "nest" in the sand by rearing up their body length and smashing it down to produce a crater. This also attracted male worms, which literally ate the smaller females whole. The process of consuming the female paralysed the male, and the sexual organs of the dead female then moved thorugh the male's flesh and fertilised themselves using the male's sperm. The fertilised eggs then gave rise to sand plankton, which multiplied on the bodies of both parents. By the time the process was complete the crater had been well and truly covered by sandstorms, providing protection for the emerging plankton which then migrated to the upper layers of sand and began to photosynthesise in addition to scavenging any organic material.

So the worms produce eggs which give rise to the plankton. The plankton gives rise to sandtrout when they have abundant water. The sandtrout seal off the water in a pre-spice mass. The pre-spice mass explodes, killing most of the trout whose dead bodies become spice. Some o the trout survive and become little worms. The adult worms then give rise to plankton.

This also neatly explains why the worms attack any rhythmic movement. They are mistaking it for the sounds of female nest building.

With a little luck somebody who owns a copy of the Encyclopedia can correct any errors in this description.
#16
Old 02-23-2011, 11:00 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
With a little luck somebody who owns a copy of the Encyclopedia can correct any errors in this description.
I own a copy but I'm too lazy to look for it (I think it's in a box in the basement). My last reread was within the past year, though, and that's essentially correct to my recollection.
#17
Old 02-04-2015, 07:22 AM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3
I want to thank all who posted on this topic.
the information is very useful and helps me understand a key part of the books that always was out of my reach.
#18
Old 02-04-2015, 10:23 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 25,814
The zombie is the spice! The spice is the zombie!

Shai-Huluuuuuuuud!

where'd I put my crysknife?

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 02-04-2015 at 10:24 AM.
#19
Old 02-04-2015, 11:38 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 32,973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
The zombie is the spice! The spice is the zombie!

Shai-Huluuuuuuuud!

where'd I put my crysknife?
Disintegrated by now. You're supposed to keep it on you at all times, remember?
#20
Old 02-04-2015, 11:43 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 25,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Disintegrated by now. You're supposed to keep it on you at all times, remember?
I know! I can't believe I misplaced it! Where's the Shadout Mapes?
#21
Old 02-04-2015, 12:48 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
The zombie is the spice! The spice is the zombie!
You misspelled "ghola"...
#22
Old 02-04-2015, 01:32 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 25,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
You misspelled "ghola"...


I Sure did!
#23
Old 02-04-2015, 01:58 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: KC MO or there abouts
Posts: 5,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
I know! I can't believe I misplaced it! Where's the Shadout Mapes?
NCIS: Los Angeles
#24
Old 02-06-2015, 02:23 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,243
In 12 years, I think everyone has missed the authoritative reference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by National Lampoon's Doon
"All Freedmenmen know of the delicate links of interdependence that link all life-forms," the nabe said. "Our eight-year-olds are taught such basic ecological principles. Salt makes the brewer die, which creates the nuts, the cocktail mix; the nuts of some of the mix form the nuggets, the young pretzels. Water combines with other nuts of the mix, and with yeast, to form the beer." The gaunt man shrugged. "It wants not an offworld Kumkwat Haagendasz to know this thing."
#25
Old 02-06-2015, 11:23 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: In the time stream
Posts: 4,828
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Disintegrated by now. You're supposed to keep it on you at all times, remember?
Assuming I remember correctly, that's only if it's an "unfixed" blade. Fixed ones, presumably, will remain knives even if separated from a living being.
#26
Old 02-07-2015, 02:49 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,243
Yes, you have to read a scroll of enchant weapon while confused.
#27
Old 02-07-2015, 04:16 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 13,728
So Frank Herbert found a bunch of ideas that had been excreted (i.e., published) by earlier science fiction authors. He consumed them and excreted two stories in Analog. He consumed those stories and excreted a book called Dune and later several sequels to it. He then died and excreted (i.e., left unpublished) more ideas for later sequels. His son Brian and Kevin J. Anderson then consumed those ideas and excreted them into a series of books. We have become addicted to these books and must consume them regularly.

Follow me, my children! I will free you from this deadly drug! I will release you from your bondage to these books! Follow me, for I am the Kwisatz Haderach!
#28
Old 02-07-2015, 12:34 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,151
Of course, the Herbert fils/Hackerson excrement smells much worse than the original stuff.
#29
Old 02-07-2015, 05:57 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 34,287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
where'd I put my crysknife?
I have no idea, but I can loan you my swysknife.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 02-07-2015 at 06:01 PM.
#30
Old 02-09-2015, 12:56 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California
Posts: 8,086
I must not have fun.
Fun is the time-killer.
Fun is for children, customers, and the help.
#31
Old 02-09-2015, 10:18 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: By the Caloosahatchee
Posts: 11,453
So where does Sting figure in all this?
__________________
This is my signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
#32
Old 02-09-2015, 10:23 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypno-Toad View Post
So where does Sting figure in all this?
He's looking for his last name in the dip.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:58 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: eat24 wiki puce color example steven spelling john adams bill feet running away camping by yourself acre inch washing rocks smashed fly bombay and co corelle wiki doubletree pillows sale pencil 1 i am name guitar neck repair joshing you origin broken crown tooth stealing satellite tv fastest law degree amused people weird car parts gypsum passage magazine fed cavemen names brake rotor brands electrical prostate stimulators one crutch walking best idle games coal buy 800gotjunk pricing mattel ar15 exorcist ending military veteran hats litter box air filter great clips vs cost cutters what does nitroglycerin tablets do all ye who enter here pizza hut flavor sticks what is sasha short for kleenex tissues for men does pubic hair turn gray with age animals that smell like skunk cut off my legs and call me shorty canned chili no beans can you use drano in bathtub fire alarm going off no smoke nom de plume vs nom de guerre menstrual cup during intercourse good d&d riddles registering a foreign marriage in the us how cold can a cat survive outside when does your reaction time slow down ruth plumly thompson oz books huge cockroach in my bathroom how to disable suggested pages on facebook tracking down credit card fraudsters cracklins vs pork rinds what does si se puede mean in spanish why is mouth breather an insult how to knock someone out with drugs does space have mass best way to bury money back pay child support after 18 how long does liquid stay in your stomach